SNB can keep 1.20 cap as long as needed- Danthine

ZURICH Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:49am EST

ZURICH Nov 19 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank can maintain its 1.20 cap on the franc as long as necessary, its vice-chairman told a conference in Zurich on Monday.

The SNB set the cap of 1.20 francs to the euro in Sept. 2011 to stave off deflation and recession after investors seeking refuge from the euro zone debt crisis pushed the franc to record highs.

In response to a question about how long the central bank could hold the Swiss franc floor, Jean-Pierre Danthine said, "as long as needed."

Danthine did not directly respond to a remark by Holcim chairman Rolf Soiron that Swiss industry was looking to the SNB to "perhaps even strengthen" the floor.

(Reporting by Katharina Bart; writing by Caroline Copley)